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Can an employee use sick leave for first weeks ACC if their injury is not work related?
Yes, most definately. Injury is specifically included as a purpose of sick leave by Section 62
| Section 62 |
Purpose of this subpart
The purpose of this subpart is to provide all employees with a minimum entitlement to paid leave in the event of their sickness or injury, or of the sickness, injury, or death of certain other persons.
Of more interest however is Section 71(4). What this subsection says is that if an employee is off on ACC, and thus receiving 80% of their usual wages from either the employer or the ACC, the employer can top up the remaining 20% by using 1 days sick leave for every week topped up.
| Section 71
Payment for sick leave and bereavement leave
(1) An employer must pay an employee an amount that is equivalent to the employee's relevant daily pay for each day of sick leave or bereavement leave taken by the employee that would otherwise be a working day for the employee.
(2) Despite subsection (1), an employer is not required to pay an employee for any time for which the employee is paid weekly compensation under the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Act 2001 or former Act.
(3) An employer must not require an employee to take as sick leave any time for which the employee is being paid
(4) However, if an employer pays the difference between the employee's first week compensation or weekly compensation and ordinary weekly pay, the employer may agree with the employee that he or she may deduct from the employee's current sick leave entitlement 1 day for every 5 whole days that the employer makes that payment.
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In my employment contracts, I currently specify that a medical certificate is needed for sick leave to be taken. I understand that Section 68, Subsection 1 specifies that a medical certificate is required after 3 consecutive days of illness, but, Subsection 2 of Section 68 seems to suggest that if I specify something else in an employment contract, it overrides Section 1. Is this correct?
That is not our understanding of Section 68 (proof of sickness or injury).
Our understanding of subsection 2 is that if you allow more than 5 days a year sick leave, your employment agreement can require a medical certificate for all absences that are in addition to the 5 days a year legal minimum.
Let's have a look at the legislation. We have highlighted the two relevant sections, and added the underlines and bold - they are not in the legislation itself.
Section 68 |
Proof of sickness or injury
(3) For the purposes of this section, proof of sickness or injury may include a certificate from a medical practitioner (within the meaning of the Medical Practitioners Act 1995) that
(4) To avoid doubt, this section does not prevent an employer who is otherwise legally authorised to so require, from requiring an employee to establish that there are no relevant health and safety reasons or hygiene reasons that would prevent the employee from working.
Payment For Sick Leave If Taken On A Public Holiday
You are not required to pay your staff time and a half if they call in sick on a public holiday they would have otherwise worked more..